Today in politics: Thursday, November 28
OUTSIDER MAKES A PLAY FOR NORMAN'S JOB
A little-known Green candidate has made a surprise pitch for the party's co-leadership. Auckland Council policy analyst David Hay says Russel Norman has done a great job, but it is time for a change. Currently ranked 16th, he will make a stand at the party's conference in May, but only if he is given a higher list placing. Dr Norman responded by saying he was "very confident" he would remain co-leader.
BILL SEEKS TO MODERNISE NATION'S COURT SYSTEM
A new 1238-page bill to modernise the justice system has been introduced to Parliament. Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Judicature Modernisation Bill was aimed at modernising the courts system and making it more transparent. It would ensure all written judgments were posted online, migrate more of the court's work online, increase the use of video appearances, and combine all 59 district courts into one entity.
GREENS GIVE HUGHES THE NOD TO REMAIN UNSEATED
The Greens have given MP Gareth Hughes an exemption from the party's usual rule that candidates must stand in electorate seats. Instead, he will run in 2014 as a list-only candidate so he can focus on boosting the party's youth vote. He stood in Ohariu in 2011, but the party has chosen Tane Woodley to stand there next year. Mr Woodley is a planner with Civil Defence and an army reservist. He has had 22 years in the army as a regular and as a reservist.
NO IFS OR BUTS: SMOKE MUST NOT WAFT INDOORS
Parliamentary Service has installed ‘‘ash cylinders’’ outside several entrances where the beltway’s smokers take their breaks. However, yesterday it sent out a stern email pointing out that smoking was not permitted where smoke could waft into the building, and the cylinders were to prevent smokers from littering. ‘‘The ash cylinders are for the disposal of cigarette butts before entering the buildings, and are not for supporting smoking at those locations.’’